Hi everyone, welcome to the Food & Wine blog. I am Simon Whitley Director of Food & Beverage at the Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa; this blog is a great opportunity for me to talk to you about my passion…food!  I will be writing about some of my favourite recipes, dishes from our restaurants at the Hotel as well as food trends and advice.

I had the huge honour of being invited back to the Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club to help prepare for the Champion’s Cocktail Party, I was out there last year and all I can say is that I must have done something right!  The menu is based on past champion’s dinners so it’s a great mix of dishes from Mike Weir’s favorite Lobster in Puff Pastry with Saffron and Vanilla Aioli to Tiger Wood’s Steak and Chicken Fajitas. The week was absolutely amazing.  From the nail-biting play to playing a part in the team who prepare and present the champions cocktail party dinner – this was another unforgettable trip and a great opportunity to meet up with and cook for the guests we often have the pleasure of hosting here in St Andrews.

Meanwhile back in Scotland we are beginning to see the first signs of summer, this is a really exciting time of year for us Chefs as some of the tastiest fruit, veg and herbs begin to appear. I believe really strongly in provenance and I am a big supporter of the VisitScotland campaign Eat in Season so keep watching for strong focus on local and seasonal produce and great seasonal recipes for you to try at home.

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To kick off I have chosen one of my favorite herbs out right now, wild garlic. I think what I really like about the herb is that as its name suggests…it’s wild. This year the nettles and wild garlic are a little late but we have now been able to start using them in our dishes here at the Road Hole Restaurant. Our chefs head out to woodland area on The Duke’s golf course to collect the garlic and nettles, then they bring them back to the kitchen where we prepare them for service. I really recommend you go out and have a look in the woodland area around your own homes, see if you can find some wild garlic and nettles; there’s so much you can do with them. I’ve added some pictures so you know what you’re looking for, make sure you give them a good wash and they will be fine. Wild Garlic is great in a risotto or soup while the nettles can be added to a pesto. Ross Marshall, Head Chef at the Road Hole Restaurant will be using these fantastic ingredients in some of the cooking demonstrations on our YouTube page so keep an eye out for that!